Elder Law Minute – Should Fiduciaries Have a Retirement Age?

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson wants to talk about fiduciaries and age limits.


Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!

A lot of times, when I’m preparing documents for people (wills, trusts, power of attorney), they struggle a bit in selecting people to serve as fiduciaries. As trustee, executor, power of attorney agents; and, sometimes, the struggle is, well, that it might be a sibling, or somebody else, but their concern that by the time the document would be used, that person might be too old to be a good choice. And they also think about younger people, who would be too young now, but might be a good choice in the future. And they talk about having to redo the documents.

Really, that’s not necessary if we use a handy little trick that I like to suggest to people, and that is, there is no problem in those documents of imposing on, someone older, a retirement age. For instance, this person shall be my power of attorney agent if they’re age 75 or less. And you could do the same thing with somebody younger, this person shall serve as my power of attorney agent, or successor, once they’ve reached age 25. The interesting thing is that, since everybody gets a year older every year, regardless of what age they are, you can kind of combine those two and have a continuum where once the older person reaches retirement age, the younger person reaches the age where they can serve.

So, it’s a neat trick that keeps you from having to redo documents and enables you to name people who really are the choices that you would want now.


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